Good Girls Like Bad Boys – But Why?

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THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED: CHICKS DIG JERKS. Study Finds That Men Like Nice Women, But Not the Other Way Around. “The researchers found that men who perceived possible female partners as responsive found them to be ‘more feminine and more attractive.’ Past research suggests that physical cues of femininity stimulate sexual attraction because they suggest higher estrogen levels, better overall mate quality and solid reproductive health. On the other hand, women didn’t necessarily perceive a responsive man as less masculine, but they also did not find a responsive man more attractive. What’s more, when women perceived their male partner to be responsive, they were less attracted to the man. In other words, it appeared that in an initial encounter men liked nice ladies; women thought nice guys were kind of lame.”

I posted something flippant in response to this over at Glenn’s place, but then I got to thinking:  It really is a cliche that “good girls like bad boys,” and has been as long as I’ve been alive.

But why?

I think it’s all tied up in what modern culture thinks is “good” in terms of masculinity.  “Good” men are obedient, follow the rules, recognize authority, are non-violent, and, lately, acknowledge the innate superiority of women over them and their brutish, testosterone-fueled impulses.

In short, a “good” man is everything that would have gotten himself, his women, his family, and his tribe killed and eaten while the bulk of humanity’s genome was selecting for survival.

Women may tell themselves such men are “good,” but their survival instincts, genes, and emotions tell them otherwise.

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Good Girls Like Bad Boys – But Why? — 2 Comments

  1. I’d say that you’ve pretty much got it right. Most women are pretty much “hard-wired” by multi-generational experience, both as regards what succeeds best in long-term survival and regarding what is most likely to be the best choice of reproductive mate (thereby “continuing the species”, while keeping them well-fed, well-housed, well-clothed and safer), to gravitate toward the most assertive, most self-assured, physically most-dominant men – which will tend strongly to be, in our “more-civilized” modern-day population, especially among young-adult males, the “Bad Boyz”.

    Result: You don’t absolutely have to be a young male bad-ass to attract the good-looking wimminz – but that’s the smart-money way to bet.

    Fortunately for the “merely-good” guys, as time goes on, a fair number of the brainier (while still very attractive) females figure out what (in “civilized” real-world terms) is the better long-term bet – and a lot of those “good” guys get their chances. That is, if they still want to take those chances, of course…

  2. I remember asking a good friend of mine (female) about this once. She was (is) smart, pretty, funny and a really decent person and she had a long track record of dating fuckwit assholes. She responded that the bad boys gave you a thrill and sense of danger that was viscerally attractive. Of course, the wreckage that they tended to leave behind really sucked, but the vast majority of her peers (women in their 20s) never seemed to learn the lesson properly, making the same mistake over and over again. Of course, my friend then followed up by saying that she had finally figured out that dating nice guys had lots of attractive benefits, too. And she’s now been happily married for 15 years to a nice guy.

    females figure out what (in “civilized” real-world terms) is the better long-term bet – and a lot of those “good” guys get their chances

    My wife had a started marriage with her high school sweetheart. I wouldn’t go so far as to call him a bad boy, but let’s just say that he would never be classified as a “good” guy.

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